Giants Second Round Draft Pick Sterling Shepard
May 6, 2016
Q: Have you ever met Victor Cruz and what do you think of people saying that youíre similar to him?
A: Itís an honor to be compared to Victor Cruz, because heís a guy I looked up to. Now Iíll be able to play with him. Yes, it was an honor to meet him yesterday.
Q: What was it like?
A: It was like ĎMan, Iím here!í I never thought I would have the chance to meet him. Itís a dream come true.
Q: Did he give you any advice?
A: It was a brief meeting, so he really didnít give me any advice just yet.
Q: Do you sense that this is where you were destined to be? Was this always your goal?
A: Yes. Always. As a little kid, I was around the game a lot. Being around my dad, who turned into a coach, and my uncle, who played football, football is definitely in our family. It was definitely my calling.
Q: How did you choose your number? Your dad wore #87 in Dallas. Was that the reason you chose it?
A: Actually, I didnít get to pick it. Itís what they gave me and I guess it was a coincidence that my dad also wore it as well. I kinda wanted a number in the teens, but Iíll just rock with #87.
Q: How much do you think you can contribute as a rookie?
A: I definitely think I can. I did it coming out of high school and playing in college, too. I know this is a different level, but I believe I can contribute as soon as I step in here. I just have to show the coaches that, and theyíll make the final decision.
Q: GM Jerry Reese mentioned that you ďplay big.Ē How do you ďplay big?Ē
A: Honestly, itís because of the weight room. Thatís a big thing for me. I stay in the weight room. There are bigger corners who play press coverage in this league and I have to learn how to deal with it. So being in the weight room is a major key to my success. Also, Iím constantly running routes, too.
Q: Have you heard that you look short?
A: Yes. I hear that all the time. Iím always being told that Iím too short. But it gives me more motivation to play big.
Q: Did you hear from Odell Beckham, Jr?
A: I met with both Victor Cruz and Odell at the same time when I walked into the building yesterday.
Q: Is it comforting knowing that you guys are the same size?
A: You have guys the same size as you and you see them making plays every week. So why canít I?
Q: You donít seem like the kind of guy who feels pressure. Am I right?
A: I really donít feel pressure. Itís going to be what itís going to be. Iím coming in here ready to work. Iíve been in so many pressure situations in my life that overcoming them comes natural. Comparisons are always going to come. They came in high school and college. I just have to deal with it. Iíve done a good job with it so far, and I just have to keep going.
Q: How do you feel being drafted into the New York/New Jersey big city area?
A: Itís my first time around here. I havenít been able to see much yet. Iíve just been to the Giants facility. But I believe that I can and will have a good relationship with the area.
Q: What is the biggest transition on the football field for you? Did anyone give you advice on what you would have to work at?
A: Not much. I had a brief meeting with Victor and Odell. I think the biggest thing for me will be the speed of the game. Once I get the speed of the game down, I feel like Iíll be adjusted. From high school to college, the speed of the game was a big thing. Then I heard some pros on tv say that speed was the biggest adjustment for them.
Q: Do you think you and the first round draft pick (Eli Apple) will go one-on-one during training camp?
A: Thatíll be fun. But I donít think weíre doing a lot of one on ones here. But weíll definitely compete with each other as teammates.
Q: How do you plan on getting on the same page with Eli Manning?
A: That will come along in practice. With routes and 7-on-7, I feel it will come naturally with practice.
Q: Do you feel your experience running the entire route tree has helped you make this leap?
A: Yes. A lot of receivers who were drafted and played for other teams, where their offense was a track meet. There were a lot of go balls and hitches. The system we used at Oklahoma definitely helped me out in my adjustment to the NFL.
Q: Did Eli Manning give you any advice yesterday?
A: Not much. He just said to get into the playbook and thatís what Iím doing. I was into it a lot last night and this morning. I had spoken to him the day after I was drafted.
Q: How was it meeting him for the first time yesterday?
A: It was a dream come true. Iíve been looking at him on tv since I was in high school. To be able to meet him face to face and get some advice from him was a dream come true.